Josh Reeves grew up attending Waskom football games and recalls dreaming it was him playing under the lights.

“I just wanted to be on the field when they come running out of the tunnel and the band’s playing and all the crowd is watching,” Reeves remembers. “I just wanted to be part of it in some form or fashion growing up.”

Now a senior, Reeves is the starting quarterback for the Wildcats.

“It’s really special, growing up in this town and being to come to Friday night games and watch football and now I’m that guy,” he said. “It’s cool and I’m glad it gets me somewhere that I can be an example for little kids and other people watching.”

He’s not satisfied with being the starting quarterback. He wants to help the Wildcats achieve what he saw them do when he was a spectator and win a state championship, just as they did in 2014 and 2015.

“It just gives you something to strive for,” he said. “Everybody wants to reach that goal. So it kind of sets your standards for the season higher and kind of motivates you as you go through the season.”

He’s entering his first full season as the starting quarterback and said both his game and his team’s game has improved since a year ago.

“I have more experience so I expect everything to run smoother,” he said. “Everything is more of a second nature instead of having to think so much. I feel like we work better together and have more of a connection. We don’t argue a lot. We play more as a team.”

“Josh is one of the captains of our football team,” Waskom athletic director and head football coach Whitney Keeling said of Reeves. “Obviously being a quarterback, he’s a leader. He’s been a staple of our program since he’s been here. (He’s) very vocal, leads by example. He’s the typical kid you want to play quarterback.”

Reeves said he tries to emulate his game after Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman.

“He’s part of the reason I wear No. 8,” Reeves explained. “I’ve watched videos and I’ve seen the impact that he made on the team.

“I try to lead by example and vocally,” the senior quarterback added. “I try to keep everybody up, don’t let anybody get down, keep everybody encouraged.”

Football, Reeves said, has helped teach him valuable life lessons.

“Effort,” Reeves said when asked what the game has taught him. “You always have to give 100 percent effort in everything you do.”

Reeves and his Wildcats will take the field for their first game Friday night when they play host to the Redwater Dragons at Wildcat Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.